Toyota, in a strategic move, has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Karnataka government to establish its third manufacturing plant in India. This significant development, set to unfold in Bidadi near Bangalore alongside the existing plants, entails a hefty investment of approximately Rs 3,300 crores. Notably, the upcoming facility is projected to bolster Toyota’s annual production capacity by 1 lakh units and generate employment opportunities for around 2,000 individuals.
The existing manufacturing plants in Bidadi currently contribute a combined output of about 4 lakh units annually. The addition of this new plant, anticipated to be operational by 2026, is poised to augment Toyota’s overall production capacity by an impressive 30%. This landmark announcement coincides with the brand’s celebration of 25 years of operations in India.
The forthcoming manufacturing hub will play a pivotal role as the primary production base for an upcoming three-row SUV. Codenamed the 340D, this SUV represents a lengthened version of the Corolla Cross, a model well-received internationally. Toyota aims to manufacture 60,000 units of the 340D annually, with an expected market launch around 2026.
The India-specific iteration of the Corolla Cross-based SUV will rest upon Toyota’s TNGA-C platform, shared with the Innova Hycross. While the global Corolla Cross boasts a wheelbase of 2,640mm, the Indian variant is likely to be extended by approximately 150mm to accommodate a third row of seats. Design elements may witness unique touches, potentially featuring a distinct nose, new soft parts, and a revamped rear end.
Beyond serving the domestic market, the 340D SUV is positioned as a global offering, with plans for export to other markets. However, whether it will spawn a derivative under the Maruti brand remains uncertain.
Adding to Toyota’s dynamic lineup, the recently showcased IMV 0 ladder-frame platform, unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show, is poised to make its way to India. This platform, a cost-effective variant of the IMV platform supporting models like the Innova Crysta and Fortuner, is expected to birth more affordable alternatives of vehicles like the Hilux pickup truck and Fortuner SUV. While its production destination in India remains unconfirmed, it underscores Toyota’s commitment to delivering diverse and accessible offerings to the Indian automotive market.